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Rosy Quince

Serves: Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds quinces, washed and patted dry
  • 2 cups (16 ounces) white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • 2 cups (16 ounces) water
  • 1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
  • Zest of ½ orange, in strips
  • 1 (3- or 4-inch) cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds
  • Honeyed Yogurt or Vanilla
  • crème fraîche, for serving

Procedures:

  • Use a sharp vegetable peeler to remove the quince skin. Cut in half with a chef's knife (be careful here—the flesh is very hard). Use a melon baller to scoop out the center core and seeds. Reserve the peels and cores. Slice the fruit into ½-inch thick slices. Put the slices in the medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside until needed. The fruit will turn brown, but don't worry—once fully cooked, it will turn pink.


  • Place the peels and cores in the medium saucepan and add the wine, water, sugar, orange zest, cinnamon stick, and cardamom seeds. Warm over medium heat until the mixture begins to simmer and the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat, cover, and cook at a gentle boil for 30 minutes. The peels and cores are very flavorful and, with the other flavorings, will make a quince "stock" in which to poach the fruit. Strain the mixture through a medium-mesh strainer and return the liquid to the pan.


  • Add the quince slices to the pan and bring the mixture back to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to very low, cover, and cook at the lowest possible simmer. Continue to cook, gently stirring the fruit once or twice to ensure that it cooks evenly, for 1½ to 2 hours, until the fruit is very tender and a beautiful deep rose to orange color. The fruit will be tender long before it has turned the beautiful color you want, so don't be tempted to remove it from the heat too early. Quinces have the amazing ability to hold their shape long after they are cooked through, so be patient.


  • Gently pour the contents of the pan into the large bowl and set aside to cool. If you would like the poaching liquid to be a bit thicker and deeper in color, return the liquid to the pan and boil over medium heat until reduced to 1¼ to 1½ cups. Cool the reduced poaching liquid and pour it over the quince slices. Spoon the quinces into compote dishes and top each one with a spoonful of vanilla crème fraîche, honeyed yogurt, or almond cream.
  • by Sur La Table & Andrews McMeel Publishing

     
     
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